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Judge: Florida-based broadcaster is Russian foreign agent

MIAMI — A federal judge has ruled a Florida-based broadcasting company that provides Russian programs to a Washington radio station must register as an agent of a foreign government.

The Justice Department said in a news release Tuesday that RM Broadcasting of Jupiter, Florida, was essentially providing publicity for Russia through an agreement with state-run Rossiya Segonya. That entity’s “Sputnik” program is broadcast all day on WZHF-AM in the Washington area.

RM Broadcasting had asked Florida U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg to rule it’s not required to register as a foreign agent, but she sided with the Justice Department. Attorneys for the company didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Officials say this was the first civil enforcement since 1991 of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Curt Anderson, The Associated Press